New Minister takes up the reins at Macheramason

The congregation at Magheramason Presbyterian Church welcomed their new Minister, Graeme Orr, at a service of ordination and induction on Friday evening last.

Rev Graeme Orr, seated centre, who was installed as minister at Magheramason Presbyterian Church on Friday evening, pictured with clergy who took part in the service, from left, seated, Rev John Hanna, Moderator of the Presbytery of Derry & Donegal, and Rev Knox Jones, Convenor of Vacancy, standing, Rev Dr Robert Buick, Clerk of Presbytery, Rev Mark Shaw, Rev Keith Hibbert and Rev Craig Wilson. INLS3814-128KM

Born in 1975, Rev Orr was raised in Coleraine, the son of Ronnie and Sylvia Orr and has one younger sister, Ashley.

In his youth he attended Hazlebank Presyterian Church under the ministry of Rev Sam Millarand was a pupil at Christie Memorial Primary School, Coleraine Boys Seconday School and Coleraine Academical Institution before studying for a degree in podiatry at Queens University, Belfast and his sporting interests include both football and rugby.

On leaving school he played rugby for Coleraine Town for a number of years and then a couple of seasons with Rainey Old Boys in Magherafelt.

Rev John Hanna, seated left, Moderator of the Presbytery of Derry & Donegal, welcoming Rev Graeme Orr to his new position as minister at Magheramason Presbyterian Church at his service of installation on Friday evening. Included are Elders of the church, from left, Derek Allen, Anne Burke, William Watson and James Lamberton. INLS3814-129KM

Asked how his life’s path changed to lead him to a life of ministry, he said: “My life was dramatically changed while I was attending Queens University, Belfast back in 1994. It was here that God started dealing with me spiritually and showed me my failings and sins, which by nature and practice were separating me from the Lord. God saved me on May 10, 1994 while I attended a Tuesday evening Bible study conducted by the late Rev Derek Bingham.

Mr Orr married his fiancee, Mandy, on September 2, 1998 in Orritor Presbyterian Church, outside Cookstown and the couple set up home initially in Castledawson, where they lived for four years and then for the past 12 years in Tobermore.

“I worked as a community podiatrist from 1997 to 2006 within the Northern Trust, treating foot conditions of all kinds both in health centres and hospitals in and around the mid–Ulster area. You could say I was concerned for peoples soles, but now am more concerned with peoples souls,” Rev Orr said.

He continued: “I then worked as a podiatry sector manager, based in Ballymena from 2006 to 2008, before the Lord called me into full time ministry.”

The couple’s marriage was blessed us with four boys, Reuben (12), Benjamin (10), Samuel (8) and Jonathan (6), and Rev Orr eventually left his job in podiatry to study full-time at Union Theological College, Belfast from 2008 to 2011.

“During the past four years I was called to work as an assistant minister in Molesworth Presbyterian church, Cookstown, under the mentorship of their minister Rev Tom Greer. This was a great time of blessing, where I witnessed God working in the lives of many people, both young and old. In June 2014, following interview and a request to preach for the vacancy in Magheramason Presbyterian church that I was issued and accepted a call to become their next minister and follow on from the faithful service of the Rev David Hillen, who retired in September 2013,” he said.

“My family and I are very pleased to make the move from Tobermore to Magheramason and I am pleased to say our boys have all settled well into their new schools,” Rev Orr said, continuing: “We are thankful for all who have prayed for us as a family during this time of transition and are excited about what the Lord wants to do through us in this area. My vision for the church in Magheramason is to passionately preach the good news about Jesus from God’s word, the Bible, each Sunday morning and evening. With God’s help I wish to apply the message into the lives of all who come along. I trust that the congregation will be built up and encouraged in their faith.

“I also desire to be part of the wider community in mixing with everyone from all back rounds through sport and other means. It is my desire that many will come to know Christ as their own and personal Saviour and Lord in these days,” he said.

Issuing an open invitation to attend services at Magheramason, Rev Orr said the services on Sunday were at 11.30am and 6.30pm.

“Our door is open wide to all who wish to come along,” he said.